London Symphony Orchestra announces major new Birtwistle and Reich commissions for 2018/19

1 February 2018

Major new orchestral scores from Harrison Birtwistle and Steve Reich will receive world and UK premieres by the London Symphony Orchestra during their 2018/19 season.

Sir Simon Rattle opens his first season as Music Director of the LSO on 16 September 2018 with a new fanfare by Harrison Birtwistle. This is followed on 1 May 2019 by the world premiere of a new orchestral piece by Birtwistle, co-commissioned by the LSO, which Sir Simon will conduct in London, Munich, Berlin, Lucerne and Luxembourg. Other co-commissioners include Orchestre de Paris, Swedish Radio and Tanglewood Music Centre.

On 29 November 2018 Kristjan Jarvi conducts the UK premiere of Steve Reich’s Music for Ensemble and Orchestra which has also been co-commissioned by the orchestra. The new work marks a return to orchestral writing for Reich and is his first major orchestral score for 30 years. It receives its world premiere earlier in the season by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and has further performances throughout 2019 by fellow co-commissioners the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Sydney Symphony and Baltic Sea Philharmonic. 

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